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Fed judge rules against intelligent design

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 20 (UPI) -- A federal judge in Harrisburg, Pa., ruled Tuesday the concept of "intelligent design" cannot be taught in Pennsylvania public high school science classes.

The ruling came in the nation's first federal trial regarding the teaching of intelligent design -- a concept that opposes the theory of evolution, saying life is so complex, there must have been intelligent design involved.

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U.S. District Judge John Jones III issued the ruling in a case brought by 11 parents in the Dover (Pa.) Public School District. The parents claimed the separation of church and state was violated by their school board when it voted to introduce intelligent design into high school biology classes.

Jones agreed, ruling an "ill-informed faction" on the board adopted a policy that is unconstitutional, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

"In making this determination, we have addressed the terminal question of whether ID is science," Jones said. "We have concluded that it is not, and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents."

Anticipating being labeled an "activist judge" by intelligent design advocates, Jones -- a Republican appointed by former President George H.W. Bush -- declared, "This is manifestly not an activist court."

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